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Fragments of Disappearance

Photographer Soumya Sankar Bose mixes facts and fiction, working around the disappearance and recovery of his mother when she was a child.

When she was 9 years-old, in 1969, Soumya Sankar Bose’s mother went to buy sweets for a religious offering. She was found only three years later, the faces of her traffickers “wiped clean” by prosopagnosia, a cognitive disorder that limits the ability to remember facial features.

Soumya Sankar Bose. A Discreet exit through Darkness series, 2020–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist

Soumya Sankar Bose. A Discreet exit through Darkness series, 2020–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist

Soumya Sankar Bose. A Discreet exit through Darkness series, 2020–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist

Going back to a divisive incident in his family, with conflicting accounts and in absence of a cohesive record, the photographer recreates images based on real-life episodes, while also drawing from the realm of folklore and superstition that surrounds the traumatic event.

Soumya Sankar Bose. A Discreet exit through Darkness series, 2020–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist

Soumya Sankar Bose. A Discreet exit through Darkness series, 2020–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition “A Discreet Exit through the Darkness” is on view at the Église des Frères Prêcheurs in Arles, part of the program of Les Rencontres de la Photographie, until September 24.

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